zondag 11 maart 2018

Wood, Steel and Gas; Ups and downs

Hi folks!

It's been a fairly busy weekend, so let's tell you about it.
Friday started with a scare, as my wife messaged me at work, that the decorative pieces of apple wood she had in her study had suddenly sprouted holes! Turns out we had a case of interlopers, longhorn beetles to be precise. This was a bit of a scare, as her study is very close to the garage. Where I do all my woodworking. Even more as she found one of the beetles right at the doorstep!
So as soon as I came home friday, I sorted through my wood supply. Sadly my worst fears were confirmed when a lovely large oak tree cross-section I'd been saving for a table showed fresh bore holes.
So a cull of my wood stack was necessary. I had a pile of pallet wood for small projects, that has now been redesignated as campfire wood (more as a precaution). Luckily my fancy woods are treated/kiln-dried and the beetle we found only goes after untreated woods. Still, getting some bug remedy for my wood next week. I'm going to try and save the big oak slab. It's currently sealed in air-tight plastic wrapping with a few pots of alcohol inside, hopefully I can choke/poison most of the bugs that way in preparation for the proper wood treatment.

Saturday afternoon was spent with the airbrush, touching up the primer on my second Necromunda building:

As I had the airbrush out, I also progressed on the Necromunda 2017 cover and doors.
I'd found the proper dilution for the chipping medium, so I've started applying colour to a batch of them, over the rust basecoat:
These require some more faffing about in the future, but so far so good.

I had planned to continue painting my Goliath gang today, but after a visit to the in-laws, my muse thought otherwise. (Fickle thing that she is...)
Never one to argue with inspiration, Gaslands conversions it was. I just pulled out a few cars that I had prepped for conversion (rivets drilled out and metal parts stripped of paint) and started to randomly do thing to them:
I started out with marrying the body of a low-rider pickup truck to the chassis of a bigfoot (The plan is to evoke, rather than outright copy, the bigfoot truck from the latest Mad Max movie). I've been fiddling and adjusting it throughout the afternoon, switching back and forth between it and other conversions. In the back of the picture above you can see a hot-rodded VW Beetle above a donor car that would supply part of it's wheels. I wanted the Beetle as a buggy. I've also added crew to the open-topped Rat Rod. Several cars you see in the pic had nothing done with them today, they were just there to witness the mutilat...erm.."elevation" of their peers.

Here's the Rat Rod with crew (guns and Mad-Maxification to occur at some other time).
Also, the buggy with it's new wheels. (I love the stance it has now!) There is a rather large gap between the rear wheels and the bonnet, this is intentional, as I will be fitting zoomie pipes there. :D
The cab on the Big Foot has reached it's final position as well.

As an encore, I pulled out these two. Same basic car, but the frontmost one has had it's rear wheels/axle mounting replaced to give it more ground clearance and "rake" and it's trunk hatch sawn out (the second one will get it's trunk hatch sawn out as well). Any guesses as to which cars these will be?

See you next time!

maandag 26 februari 2018

Hive Sweet Hive, Part X: The Building Emerges

This weekend I pushed some acrylics around, I did some painting on the Goliaths, but the muse fled me. Luckily the muse of terrain took her place. Which means I managed to finish my first piece of Necromunda terrain. I present to you Silo # 7:

 Don't drink the fluid leaking from the pipes...

And the first batch of ancillary barricades/railings for on the platforms, a single loose barricade and a single walkway:
 Except for the free standing barricade on the bottom, all the railings have been magnetized to connect to the steel tape hidden under the hazard striping of the platforms. As has the bridge.

Here are a set of barricades in situ:
 And here is the bridge, securely mag-locked between the platform and a tin can:
Pretty nifty, right? The magnets under the bridge are mounted in such a way that there is some play to compensate for differences in height between various pieces of scenery.

As I had the airbrush out for the sprayed markings and the varnish over the terrain pieces, I also cranked out these: 
These are now all (almost) ready for the hand-painting stages. Maybe I'll experiment with chipping medium and some weathered paint on the barricades and doors, I just need to experiment on a sacrificial piece first, to get my chipping medium dilution just right. I've been having some trouble getting it to spray and work the way I want to. But that is what the luridly coloured Imperial ruins on the right are for. :)

See you next time!

zondag 18 februari 2018

I'm going to London!

A little over a decade ago, a PC game was released. While the concept/setting and visual design of the game was well handled, it's release and business model... less so. As a result the company that made it died, as did the game. At least officially. Rereleased (initially for Korea only) by a company that had raided the IP and gamecode from the bankruptcy of the studio that produced it. They, also, didn't handle the game well, diluting the original concept and design, not really fixing the existing flaws and bugs in the game (they couldn't, as while they did have the game code and server software, they did not get the source assets and development tools).  The game languished and staggered on, zombielike.  All this while a small core of dedicated fans kept the single player part of the game alive and attempted to mod an improve it where possible. I kept occasionally playing the game. Recently I discovered these fans have achieved the seemingly impossible and revived the multiplayer part of the game as well*.

Ofcourse I'm talking about Hellgate London:

*: For those that also have fond memories of the game and playing it online with friends/strangers, the project can be found on London2038.com.

Why do I tell you all this?
Well, aside from being happy to play the game with others again, this discovery also resparked an old wargaming project, and I painted some mini's for a skirmish version of Hellgate London:

First off, a quartet of Darkspawn Imps:

Armed with a mix of (cursed?) swords and guns (likely cursed as well!), they should be a challenge for any hero, braving the post-apocalyptic streets of London

Second, my third Templar: 

 Armed with a Shockwave (a "gun" with an area of effect centred on the user) and a Toxic Axe and clad in heavy Templar armour she seems determined to plow her way through any opposition.
She's converted from Hasslefree miniatures Powered Armour Libby.

Here's my current roster of Templars:
Of course, the Templars aren't the only survivor faction in the Hellgate London universe. There are also Hunters (ex-military and law enforcement, relying on tech, drones and guns) for which I have a couple of miniatures in stock. And the Cabalists (who use the magic and demonic fetishes, that entered the world when the Hellgates, opened against the demons, turning their own weapons against the invaders), for these I haven't found suitable miniatures (yet). Naturally there are also incidental civilian survivors, for which I can use my zombie survivor miniatures.

And my current roster of demons and demonic beasts:
These can be augmented by my collection of zombies to give a fair bit of opposition. Plus I'd like to build a pair more Fellbores (the creature in the centre with the digging claws) and a third Ravager (the lizard-dog-thing).

One day, I may even find a ruleset suitable for actually gaming with them too... :)

See you next time!

vrijdag 9 februari 2018

Hive, Sweet Hive, part 9: Young blood and hired guns

Been home ill the last couple of days, and between bouts of being punched in the face by germs, I managed to get a little bit of converting done, to take my mind off things.

The Slag Barons now have two Juves to add to their roster at some point:
Still too young to be allowed full mohawks and their own stimm injectors until they prove themselves, they are given last pick of the armoury. Naturally they are keen to earn full ganger status.

The miniatures are converted from Age of Sigmar Blood Reaver bodies and arms, with heads from the Goliath sprue, stub guns stolen from a 40K Grot. The guy on the left (they've still to get names) has the same design of axe as the Gimp has (and a back-up knife), while the rightmost young goon is very fond of knives...

Additionally, a package long lost in the Warp/mail (it was sent last november!) arrived last week, finally allowing me to start on my first hired gun: Gor Half-Horn. While I like the GW model, 18 GBP for a single model that will be used only occasionally is a bit dear for my tastes. Luckily I have a deep bits box, and with some extra bits ordered, I could make a good approximation myself:
He just needs a few last finishing touches: His bionic eye, his mohawk and shin guards still need to be added.

Still on the to do list:
-Finish the terrain I've started and paint some more.
-Get Gang War 2, once available, and build some hangers on.
-Find suitable Juves for my Escher
-Paint the Goliath gang
-Build and paint my Escher gang
-Paint all the classic Necromunda mini's I still have (My metal Escher gang, my Pit Slaves and some hired guns)
Whew! Best get cracking on! And this is only one of several projects...

See you next time!

zaterdag 3 februari 2018

The arrival of loot

This is a loot-themed post...

First, a real-life bit of "loot" arrived. A while ago, I impulse-bought a Geralt of Rivia (of the Witcher game and book series), I came across it at a price I couldn't resist, and pulled the trigger before thinking twice.
Here's the man himself:
If he seems a bit moist in this picture, that is correct. As a second-hand, he was missing his box and had been wrapped in bubblewrap for transit. This, as well as the mandhandling he received during his travel by post resulted in some warping of the figure: The sword on his back was bow-shaped and the one in his hands seemed distinctly noodle-like. Luckily some hot water allowed me to reset everything to its intended shape. This picture was taken right after his form-correcting bath...

It's a very good figure, with only a few flaws: the mould-lines that were left unremoved and the misplacement of the eye decals, making Gerald distinctly cross-eyed. I'm going to enjoy him in his unmodified state for a few days/weeks as I debate wether or not to go ahead on a full repaint.

The other loot is more gaming related. A while back, I ordered some sets of fantasy coins to use as in-game currency for, for example, tabletop RPGS or my own idea for Questing/Chivalry based fantasy skirmishing. These coins can accomodate a range of wealth from the daily loaf of bread costing a copper bit, up to major purchases using an impressively large golden coin. But as adventurers have a tendency to end up ludicrously wealthy (especially in things like D&D) and like their wealth portable, I needed a way to represent even greater riches. In come precious stones...
Another cheap online purchase:
In this picture you can see a few of them. (for reference, the largest coins in the pictures are about an inch across).

Unfortunately, the glass jewels came with that typical silvered backing, that I'm now trying to remove.
Apparently, a mix of salt and vinegar should work, but I'm not yet seeing much effect:
If this fails, it's on to sterner measures, and I'll see if the same oven cleaner I used on my Gaslands Hotwheels will have a similar effect on these gems silvery coating...

See you next time!

zondag 21 januari 2018

A new year, and some Wraiths...

Wow, it's been a month already?
The annual busy period at work has reduced my time and energy available for hobby stuff. That isn't to say I've been totally idle, but that nothing has progressed enough to take new pictures of. The first Necromunda terrain piece is still PIP, although the airbrush stages are past. I need to get the thing on the painting table for some good old-fashioned brushwork.
The Goliath gang is primered and ready for paint.  The Escher have seen a tentative start at building them.
I've packed away my airbrush kit, partly because I needed a change of pace, partly because my mate's airbrush finally arrived and he reclaimed the set of airbrush paints I was borrowing from him. I need to build up my own stock of airbrush paints.
Also, I needed to clear the workbench because I wanted/needed to do some woodworking again.
I'm making a set of pushsticks for a friend who got a tablesaw for his birthday last fall, as well a cupholder as a (very) belated birthday gift for another friend. My plan for the coming year is to alternate woodworking and wargaming/modelling a bit more because, honestly, between work and hobbies, I'm getting a bit fed up with just sitting on my ass all the time.

With Necromunda having run out of steam a little bit, and me needing to relax after work, I've picked up playing The Witcher 3 again. I find it quite relaxing to just explore and slay (or be slain by) the odd roaming monster.  Which naturally has me thinking about fantasy gaming again. Also I needed a break from all the worn-out tech that has been a main feature of my hobby efforts lately (between Necromunda and Gasland).
So, I've been looking at my tray of primered fantasy figures once more, as a palate cleanser and to get back into a rythm of painting again.
Today, I painted a trio of Wraiths. These Wraiths are converted from GW Empire Flagellants and based on the ones found in, unsurprisingly, the Witcher:

And here's my interpretation:

These were painted by drybrushing them up to a light grey and then a final drybrush of pale sand. Afther that the colours were added by thin washes/glazes of the GW washes. This gives them the pale and washed out look I needed for them. The Wraith on the right features a first careful, and probably too subtle, attempt at OSL from the lamp/timeglass. The metal parts of the swords (and the brass bell) were given a very light drybrush of metal.

 " Wraiths are spirits of the unquiet dead. Trapped between true life and true death, they are filled with torment and a burning hatred of the living. They can be found roaming catacombs, near their disturbed or neglected gravesites or sometimes drawn to Places of Power. As such an adventurer must always be alert when visiting such locales and never neglect a sudden chill running down their spines, often a first warning sign that Wraiths are nearby...."
 The personal fantasy/dungeoneering setting I'm placing my fantasy skirmishes and dungeoneering projects in is a mix of various factors that interest me. It's a witches'  brew of "traditional" fantasy and folklore, mixed with a good dollop of historical 14th century for the villages/towns and general architecture, and a healthy helping of Cthulhu Mythos for the deep dark places in forests and dungeons, far from the light of civilisation... Nothing set in stone, or even written down, for now it's just a ghost of a dream in my head. But the last few iterations a lot of the Witcher universe and Slavic folkore in general has been spicing the mix.* The more I look into it, the more it intrigues me. It's all just unfamiliar and dark enough to be interesting (to myself and players) as well as form a nice bridge or gradient between the civilised parts of my setting and the truly dark Cthuluesque parts. As a result I'll be adding a few of the monsters and creatures from these settings into my collection, in addition to the Western European folkore and mythology "classics".  I just need to find  good models to represent them or convert them from. I'm even considering painting all the signage and such in Glagolotic instead of Roman/western letters.

*: In fact the Pavesiers/City Guard I painted more than a year ago take their heraldry from Rivia, a small kingdom in the Witcher world....

See you next time! Don't get bitten by a Domovoi!

zaterdag 23 december 2017

Hive, Sweet Hive, part 8: The Slag Barons starting lineup.

Well, I just finished assembling the starting lineup of my Goliath gang, the Slag Barons:
   Boss: Maximus Beefcake
Champions: "Shredder" Jonns & Rogi "the Riveter"
Gangers: "Gunner" Bran, "the Gimp" and "Growler" Lugos

A rather small starting gang, but maybe, if I can find suitable miniatures in time, I will swap out "Shredder" Jonns for a Juve and a lightly equipped Ganger to get some more bodies in the lineup. But for now, this is it.

See you on the other end of the holidays!